According to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba, Kiev struggles with long-standing prejudices and misunderstandings about the consequences of his country’s accession to NATO. NATO membership will not lead to another or major war with Russia, Kuleba said in an interview with “Bild”, “Welt” and “Politico” in Kiev on Friday evening. Instead, joining NATO is a “path to peace” – because Russia would not dare attack NATO member Ukraine again.
Ukraine would relieve Germany and other Western NATO countries of protecting the eastern region, Kuleba promised: “We will carry this burden on our shoulders.”
According to Kuleba, Ukraine did not expect to join NATO during the war. “But after the war, not accepting Ukraine as a NATO member would be suicidal for Europe.” A Ukraine outside NATO means war is still an option. The only way to close the door to Russian aggression against Europe and the Euro-Atlantic region is for Ukraine to join NATO, he said.
With a NATO summit in Lithuania in two weeks’ time, he warned the German government not to block his country’s path to the alliance. He called on Berlin not to repeat “the mistake made by Chancellor Merkel in Bucharest in 2008 when she strongly opposed Ukraine’s NATO membership”. That decision opened the door to Putin’s invasion of Georgia and eventual illegal annexation of Crimea.
At a 2008 summit, NATO countries pledged Ukraine’s membership, but later backed out without considering Russia. Angela Merkel and France’s then-President Nicolas Sarkozy blocked calls for faster access from other NATO partners.
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